Magazine article African Business

Central Africa's Star Performer: Averaging 5% Annual Growth This Decade, Gabon Is One of the Most Dynamic and Attractive Economies in Central Africa

Magazine article African Business

Central Africa's Star Performer: Averaging 5% Annual Growth This Decade, Gabon Is One of the Most Dynamic and Attractive Economies in Central Africa

Article excerpt

WELL-KNOWN ECONOMIC SUCCESS

* Strong economic growth

* Stable public finances

* Steadily decreasing public debt

A BUSINESS FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT

* Totally reformed management of public services and finances

* Strengthened good governance

* Pro-investment laws like the law on public-private partnerships

* A business development centre with a one-stop shop to facilitate start-ups and support investors

* Favourable policies for exploiting and utilising local resources

* A reliable and dynamic banking system

A STRATEGIC LOCATION IN AFRICA

* Political and social stability

* Access to a regional and sub-regional market of 120 million consumers

* A gateway to the CEMAC area

A HUGE NATURAL POTENTIAL TO EXPLOIT

* 2bn barrels of oil and 39m cubic metres of natural gas in reserves

* 900 potential mining sites (1bn tonnes of iron reserves; 5.3bn tonnes of manganese)

* 20 millions hectares of forests and 1 million hectares of potential agricultural land

* 13 national parks

A SIGNIFICANT PROGRAMME OF INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

$12.3bn invested over five years in infrastructure for:

* Transport improvement

* Increasing local green and hydropower electricity production

* Creating Special Economic Zones

* Strengthening the role of the digital economy

AN ATTRACTIVE TAX SYSTEM AND INCENTIVE MEASURES

Several advantages for new businesses:

* Exemption from corporation tax for the first profitable year in the first three years for eligible businesses covered by specific Codes (mines, agriculture, wood)

* A tax cut of 50% for the second profitable year

BIG TAX ADVANTAGES IN SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES:

* Exemption from tax on profits and income for 10 years. Beyond that, a 10% tax rate for five years

* Total exemption from VAT

* Exemption from customs duties on imports of machine equipment and detached pieces

* Freedom of repatriation of funds

* Flexibility to recruit foreign labour

* Exemption from shipping tax

* 50% reduction on electricity bills

* Exemption from withholding tax

Sales to other companies in the SEZ will be treated as exports

* Exemption from property tax on built and undeveloped properties

* Freedom to carry out remittances into and out of the SEZ through financial institutions

HEAD OF STATE

Ali Bongo Ondimba (since 16 October 2009)

Head of Government

Prof Daniel Ona Ondo

Area 267,667 [km. …

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